5 things to do in the Illinois Valley: Fireworks and festivals to celebrate Independence Day

More than a dozen fireworks shows planned this weekend

1 - See a fireworks show this weekend. Plano will begin the pyrotechnics Friday; Minonk, Utica, Sandwich and Spring Valley have shows scheduled Saturday; Morris, Peru and Walnut are set for Sunday; and Hennepin, Henry, Leland, Ottawa, Princeton and Sheridan all have presentations planned Monday on Independence Day.

2 - Kick off Streator’s weeklong Independence Day celebration at City Park this weekend. Beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday, the Run for Glory 5K will start from the northeast side of City Park, followed by Kidz Corner 9 a.m. to noon on the north side of the park. Lizzi Neal Band will perform at Plumb Pavilion during a cookout noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Bagshot Row will perform on stage noon to 3 p.m. during an ice cream and pie social Sunday. A kid’s parade is scheduled 1 p.m. Sunday at the park.

3 - Rock the River Sunday in Peru. Fireworks will begin at dusk synchronized to music on 103.9 FM/AM 1220, but the fun begins at 5 p.m. along Water Street. A fun zone will include kids activities, bounce houses and miniature golf. Food vendors will be on site. Additionally, the Peru Municipal Band will perform a patriotic concert 6:30 p.m. at the Maud Powell Statue downtown. Bring a lawn chair.

4 - Celebrate Sheridan’s 150th birthday this weekend. The village is celebrating its sesquicentennial throughout the week, including a picnic and movie in the park 5 p.m. Saturday, live music by Bad Hombres from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, and historical activities at the historical society with activities10 a.m. to past 3 p.m. Sunday, as well as a full day of family events Monday. A craft show (8 a.m. to noon), kiddy tractor pull (9 to 11 a.m.), petting zoo, pony rides, zip line and book sale begin at 10 a.m. Monday and go throughout the afternoon. A parade is scheduled for noon, toilet bowl races at 2 p.m. and fireworks at dusk.

5 - Take two Saturday in Ottawa. After last weekend’s outdoor concert was cancelled because of the threat of storms, bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy some free outdoor live music at Washington Square. The Radium City Rebels will perform from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Follow Ottawa’s Special Events Committee on Facebook for any announcements. A food vendor will be on-site during the event.

Bonus event: Get your fill of the arts and shopping Friday in Princeton. The First Friday Market is scheduled 2 to 8 p.m. at Darius Miller-Rotary Park. The event features artists, craft vendors, food and activities.

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